How to Have Incredible Fellowship in Your Church, part 10
There’s a true story of a family who publicly gave forgiveness to the man who murdered their mother. They also gave him a Bible for him to read while serving a life-sentence in prison. Their love is directed toward a person who doesn’t deserve it.
One of the hardest things for me is to show love to someone who doesn’t deserve it. When someone goes on the attack personally, I want to retaliate. I want to attack back.
There have been times when someone who came to me for help, an accountability partner, or someone I had counseled turned on me in attack mode. Life in ministry can hurt. No doubt.
It Could Hurt
Entering the life of someone else in real, biblical fellowship could hurt. There are times when your brother/sister could turn on you. Lie to you. Betray you.
And, believe me, you could be tempted to let him have it!
Then I read this: God has sent His only begotten Son into the world. (1 John 4:9)
The world doesn’t deserve Jesus. No one does. But God doesn’t base His love toward us on whether or not we deserve it.
Have you noticed this sentence: God is love? Have you really noticed it? There is no object of God’s love in this sentence.
God is…love. He just is. It’s His essence. And He loves you and me with a love that is based on His perfect character.
I know my character. I don’t deserve His love. But He gives it anyway.
Give It Away
And He tells me–commands me–to love others this way. Even others who don’t deserve it.
So His love is
- toward those who don’t deserve it
“Give it away,” He tells me.
And it’s interesting, because giving away His love as freely as He gives it to me does something incredible in me.
When I love someone who has hurt me, the desire to retaliate is gone. Grace takes its place. And I feel free.
Bitterness is destroyed, instead of it destroying me. Bitterness kills not the one to whom it is aimed, but the one who possess it.
And if anyone has a right to be bitter, it’s God. Because of me.
But He loves me.
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
Would you leave a comment? When have you seen someone love someone else who didn’t deserve it? I’ve got a lot to learn, so let’s discuss!
Next week: What might fellowship have looked like between Jesus and His disciples?
What to get Dad for Father’s Day…. Hmmmmmm……